Buying a home after 50 is not impossible nor is it uncommon but there are some things to know before launching into homeownership, especially if you are over 40 to 45 years old. There are a lot of reasons you may have been putting off homeownership whether it’s work, finances, or you just like to move without the responsibilities of buying and selling. But if you’re planning on buying now, here are some important things to understand about buying a home after you are about 45 to 50 years old.
your credit score says a lot about you, at least to lenders. And that’s what lenders look at. You want to know your credit score, history, and be prepared with some extra finances. Try to keep your credit score above 700 and if you’re not quite there yet, take another 4 to 6 months and pay off some debts, save some money, yet leave available credit open so it looks like you are a responsible buyer.
Buying your first home after 50 may mean you’ll get your dream home and it may not. But, getting into the real estate market, regardless of your age, will almost always pay off. Time the market correctly to find a home you want, save up some equity, and then you’ll have a bigger down payment on a home that might meet more of your search criteria. Look at property tax in certain areas, find neighborhoods where you’d love to live, and do a little bit of research on utility costs, the size of the home you need, and how close you want to be to certain amenities or work.
Keeping all of your finances organized not only makes the entire home buying process and application process easier, but it shows lenders and mortgage officers that you’re probably a pretty responsible person. If you are self-employed, having a profit and loss statement, having your W-2s or tax returns, and having a list of your assets and liabilities or something you’ll need when applying for a home loan.
In addition to having all of your documents ready to go, you still need to be flexible. Lenders, title companies, escrow officers and such will probably confirm your identity multiple times, especially if you have a common name, and still need to be flexible when it comes to looking at homes, inspection appointments, and appraisals. There are a lot of parties involved in buying and selling real estate so be flexible, kind, and ask questions if you don’t understand certain things.
Find your own agent
You can always buy the home through the listing agent, but this is considered dual agency and that agent is not really looking out for your best interest. Have your own representation when it comes to buying a home. They get paid on the sale of whichever property you choose but having your own agent means that your negotiating tactics, your finances, and the way you play ball is all left confidential. It’s difficult to get the best price when your agent is also the agent trying to sell the property.
More Buying Advice:
4 Ways the Home Inspection Can Go – From Beth Atalay
5 Signs You’re Ready to Buy a House – From Gulf Coastal Properties
Can the Listing Agent and the Buyer’s Agent be the Same? – From Jean Wawrzyniak-Fry